Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces

Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces, Longsheng
Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces
Located approximately 27 kilometers (about 16 miles) southeast of Longsheng County, a vast region of rice terraces stretches layer upon layer, coiling around from the base of Longji (the dragon's backbone) Mountain to its summit. This is the most amazing terrace in China, the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces. Construction of them began in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), and continued until the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) when construction was completed. The Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces are the culmination of both the profound wisdom and strenuous labor of the Zhuang people.

Now, the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces covers an area of 66 square kilometers (about 16308 acres) and spans an altitude between 300 meters (about 984 feet) and 1100 meters (about 3608 feet). It is said, 'Where there is soil, there is a terrace', be it in the valley, with swift flowing river to the mountains summit with its swirling cloud cover, or from bordering verdant forest to the cliff walls. Even though the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces is large, it is made up of numerous patches no more than 1 mu (it is a traditional unit of area in China, currently call shimu) (about 0.16 acres). The smaller ones like snails while the bigger one like towers. The outline is very smooth with gradients between 26 degrees and 35 degrees.

Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces, Longsheng
Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces in Spring
Local Residence of Zhuang Nationality
Local Residence of Zhuang Nationality
The Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces is a beautiful natural picture. The linked together rice terraces vary from season to season. In spring, the water is irrigated into the fields and they look like great chains or ribbons hung on the hillsides. When the onset of summer, green waves rush continuously down the mountainside from the heaven. The theme of autumn is the harvest, with the mountainside decorated with the gold of ripened millet. Coming into winter, the whole mountain will be covered with white snow, just like dragons playing with water.
Women of Yao Ethnic Minority
Women of Yao Ethnic Minority
Zhuang Minority People
Zhuang Minority People

As well as its amazing scenery, Longji is also the area to visit to experience Chinas ethnic minorities' culture. The Zhuang and the Yao nationalities live here, though mainly it is the Zhuang people. The women dress in unique and colorful costumes, singing and dancing. Guests also can join in with them to enjoy the original Zhuang life and culture, and even stay with local families enjoying both the Longji tea and the Longji wine.


1. Getting from Guilin to to Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces:

a. take through bus at the parking area of the Guilin Railway Station.
Ticket Fare: around CNY 50 
Duration: 2.5 hours
Note: Better reserve the tickets from the hostels on the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces, such as Mei Jing Lou (Beautiful Scenery Inn), Quan Jing Lou (Panoramic View Inn) and Jing Guan Lou Guesthouse. 

Mei Jing Lou: 86-773-7585678 
Quan Jing Lou: 86-773-7585688
Jing Guan Lou: 86-773-7585608

b. Take regular bus at Guilin Qintan Bus Station.
Ticket Fare: around CNY 16-18. 
Duration: more than 2 hours
Passengers can get off at the fork leading to the Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terraces and then take the tourism bus to Dazhai Yao Village Rice Terraces. The bus ticket fare is about CNY 7. 

c. Take through bus at Guilin Qintan Bus Station.
Ticket Fare: about CNY 27. 
Duration: 2 hours.
Arriving at at Longsheng Bus Station, passengers need to change the tourism bus to Dazhai Yao Village Rice Terraces. The ticket fare is CNY 9.

2. Getting from Dazhai Yao Village to Ping’an Zhuang Village:

a. Take regular bus (Dazhai Yao Village – Longsheng Bus Station) and get off at Er Long (Double Dragon) Bridge. Then change a van to Ping’an parking lot and walk 20 minutes to Ping’an Zhuang Village.  
b. Walk from the fork between No.1 and No.2 viewing platforms on Dazhai Yao Village Rice Terraces to the Ping’an Zhuang Village. It takes 3 to 4 hours. 
Note: Better hire a local guide to do the trekking together with you. If not, take the slate path for the Ping’an Zhuang Village.

Local Festivals

Cole Flower Festival (March to April) Tourists will be amused by the sea of cole flowers.
Spring Plowing Festival (May to June) It’s a good opportunity for photography enthusiasts to shoot beautiful pictures of the rice terraces. Also they can take part in the photo competition to win prizes.      
Sunning Clothes Festival (June 6 on Chinese lunar calendar) Yao minority people have a tradition to sun clothes today. Afterwards, they perform folk dances and songs in the village in celebration of the festival. Tourists can take this chance to appreciate Yao people’s traditional costume and wonderful performances.
Golden Autumn Cultural Festival 
(September to October)
During the festival, tourists can enjoy folk performances of the Yao Minority and join the campfire party at night.

Recommended Itinerary

Day one Take through bus from Guilin to Dazhai Zhuang Village and then finish visiting No.1 and No.2 viewing platforms in the afternoon.
Day two Appreciate the sunrise at the No.1 viewing platform and visit No.3 viewing platform. Then walk to Ping’an Zhuang Village Terraces for a visit. Afterwards, take bus (Ping’an Zhuang Village – Guilin) back to Guilin.  
Admission Fee: CNY 80 covering Ping'an Zhuang Village and Dazhai Yao Village Rice Terraces

Children below 1.4 meters are free of charge.
Opening Hours: 08:30 - 17:30
Best Time to Visit: May, June, September and October, especially April 15 to 30, and August 15 to 31 on Chinese lunar calendar

 Top 10 Things to Do in Guilin 
- Last modified on Nov. 06, 2018 -
Questions & Answers on Dragon\s Backbone Rice Terraces
Asked by malcolm from UK | Nov. 03, 2018 08:50Reply
Spring Ploughing Festival the Longji rice terraces 2019
Please let us know when is this festival in 2019, we look forward to spend 3 days 2 nights at Longji.
Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by Rena from USA | Nov. 06, 2018 01:43

Sorry, the specific date has not been published. In general, the festival falls on late April.
Asked by Karin from SWITZERLAND | Oct. 26, 2018 07:15Reply
Is there a bus from Sanjiang to Ping'an or Longshen?
I am still a bit confused, if the town we would stay at is Ping'an or Longshen, for a hike in the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terrace. Can you help me?

We are travelling from Kaili to Sanjiang, then the Rice Terraces, then Guilin and Yangshuo. Do we have to go to Guilin after Sanjiang?

Thank you so much for your help!
Answers (1)
Answered by Babs from GERMANY | Oct. 28, 2018 23:22

There are buses from Sanjing Bus Station to Longsheng. Then you make a transfer to the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terrace at Longsheng by bus. So you can stay at Ping'an, the entrance of the scenic are, which is more convenient.

If you hire a car, you can directly visit Dragon's Backbone Rice Terrace. If you take the public transportation, you are advised to first get to Guilin after Sanjing because it may be much cheaper than you directly go to the terrace. You are advised to book a day tour to the terrace in Guilin.
Asked by william | Sep. 17, 2018 19:28Reply
How would I be able to get from Yangshuo to Longji Rice Terrace on the 24th of December and back?
Where could I look for the earliest times to depart and latest times to go back?

Answers (1)
Answered by Natalie from USA | Sep. 17, 2018 20:39

There are only two direct buses from Yangshuo to Longji. The earliest departing time is at 08:30 and the latest is at 13:30. And the bus will run in both directions at the same time. The ride takes about 4 to 4.5 hours and CNY 70 per person in a single trip.
If you want to go there and back in a day, in my opinion, it is impossible because you may get the Rice Terrace at 12:30 even if you can get the earliest bus and it is hard to get on the last back-trip bus. So you are advised to spend a night there.
Asked by Feei from NEW ZEALAND | Sep. 16, 2018 20:00Reply
I am planning to visit Longji Rice Terrace around the 22nd or 23rd of December
and I was wondering if it is worth it despite the weather conditions? Will there be snow?
Answers (1)
Answered by Lucy from SINGAPORE | Sep. 16, 2018 23:25

To be honest, it’s not the best time to visit the place but the scenery is not bad.
If lucky enough, you may enjoy the snow scenery during the time.
Asked by Tim from GERMANY | Aug. 16, 2018 22:49Reply
Guilin to Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces Bus Connection
which bus number have the buses at option b and c?
b. Take regular bus at Guilin Qintan Bus Station.
c. Take through bus at Guilin Qintan Bus Station.

What is the time of their operation?
Is it easy to get a bus back to Guilin after visiting?

Thank you.
Answers (3)
Answered by Dylan from AUSTRALIA | Aug. 20, 2018 19:55

There are regular buses from Qintan Bus Station to Longsheng county, upon arrival, you can take a taxi to the scenic area. As for back, you can take the bus from Longsheng Bus Station.
Answered by Tim from GERMANY | Aug. 21, 2018 18:28

Thank you but this is not really the answer to my questions.
What is the bus number?
What is the time of operation?
Answered by Dylan | Aug. 21, 2018 23:10

There is no exact bus number of the buses, and as I said, they are regular buses from the Qintan Bus Station. Just go to the station and tell the staff that you want to buy the bus to Longsheng, and he will get it. As for timetable, the bus is available from 6:10 to 19:00 about every 20 minutes.
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